Academic Policies, Forms & Deadlines

UW-Madison policies regarding graduate education and associated forms can be accessed through the Graduate School’s Office of Admissions and Academic Services which is the Academic Dean’s Office for all graduate students. All forms requiring the dean’s signature should be submitted to this office (for example, course change form, pass-fail form, withdrawal form, credit overload request form). This office also monitors satisfactory progress toward degree completion.

Important Deadlines

Deadlines from the Office of the Registrar. Enrollment dates and deadlines available by term. The Fall 2020 Application Deadline is December 1, 2019, for most Human Ecology graduate programs.  Please check specific program pages for details.

Enrollment Policy for Funding Eligibility

The School of Human Ecology is subject to the UW Graduate School policy on full-time status requirements for enrollment and receipt of support awards. However, the individual Human Ecology graduate programs may impose additional credit requirements on individual students to receive support through the School of Human Ecology or to be in compliance with program satisfactory progress criteria. Full-time enrollment may also be required for receiving scholarships or other forms of support that are not described in this section.

It is the responsibility of the individual graduate student to make sure s/he meets enrollment requirements of the graduate program and for support receipt. If the graduate student elects not to enroll as a full-time student, s/he is responsible for knowing about possible obligations and consequences of that decision. Such obligations may include visa eligibility, financial aid payback, eligibility for fellowships or assistantships, requirements of external funding agencies, and department satisfactory progress requirements.

To be eligible for funding through the School of Human Ecology, the Curriculum Committee considers full-time enrollment to be a minimum of 8 graduate-level credits during an academic semester. Dissertators are considered full-time with three graduate-level credits during an academic semester.

Graduate-level credits are credits in courses numbered 300 and above; no audits or pass/fail are allowed to count toward the minimum. Credits that do not conform to this criterion do not count towards meeting the full-time enrollment requirements.

Full-time enrollment is required in any fall or spring semester a graduate student holds an appointment as a Project Assistant, Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, Fellow, or Trainee through the School of Human Ecology.

Note: While non-dissertator teaching and project assistants who hold a semester appointment of at least 33.33% and are enrolled for six graduate credits, or who hold an appointment of at least 50% and are enrolled for four graduate credits, are considered full-time by the registrar for loan deferment and for certification of student immigration status, these reduced loads do not meet full-time enrollment requirements for other purposes, including eligibility for funding through Human Ecology.

Summer Enrollment: Non-dissertators who hold summer appointments as Research Assistants, Trainees, or Fellows must enroll in the eight-week general session for at least two graduate-level credits. Dissertators who hold these appointments must enroll for three graduate-level credits. Graduate students who hold summer appointments as Teaching or Project Assistants are not required to enroll in the summer if they do not also fall into one of the categories for which summer enrollment is required.

International Students: It is the responsibility of International students to be aware of and comply with any additional enrollment requirements for immigration and visa receipt. Both the F-1 and J-1 student visa regulations require students to be full-time each fall and spring semester. Summer enrollment is not required by the US federal government regulations for F-1/J-1 visa holders. Failure to maintain full-time status can result in the loss of F-1/J-1 student benefits, including on-campus employment and practical/academic training options. Any exceptions to full-time enrollment must be authorized by International Student Services, 217 Armory and Gymnasium (Red Gym), 716 Langdon Street, 262-2044, intstudents@redgym.wisc.edu.

All graduate students are encouraged to refer to the UW Graduate School’s enrollment requirements. Because individual graduate programs may have additional credit requirements, students are responsible for checking with their graduate program advisor on enrollment policies.

Graduate Credit Requirements

Human Ecology Graduate Credit Requirements

  • The minimum Human Ecology credit requirements are (includes Graduate School requirements):
    • Masters 30 post-baccalaureate credits
    • MFA 60 post-baccalaureate credits
    • PhD 51 post-baccalaureate credits
  • Half of degree coursework must be completed in courses numbered 700 or above; and/or in human ecology courses numbered 300–699 specifically designed for graduate students, in which graduate students are assessed separately from undergraduate students. For more information on graduate curriculum and courses, please visit the program-specific pages.
  • Prior Coursework Requirement (MS, MFA, PhD): With program approval, up to 7 credits numbered 300 or above from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward degree credit; undergraduate courses must be numbered 700 or above to count toward the minimum graduate coursework requirement. No undergraduate coursework may count toward the graduate residence requirement.
  • Prior Coursework Requirement (MS): With program approval, students are allowed to count up to 9 credits of graduate coursework taken at other institutions or taken as a UW–Madison Special student. Coursework must be numbered 300 or above for residence and degree credit requirement and 700 or above for minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement. Credits earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree are not allowed to satisfy requirements. Use of Special student credit requires payment of tuition difference.
  • Prior Coursework Requirement (MFA): With program approval, students are allowed to count up to 20 credits of graduate coursework taken at other institutions or as a UW–Madison Special student (with a maximum of 9 special student credits as part of the 20). Special student coursework must be numbered 300 or above for residence and degree credit and 700 or above for minimum graduate coursework (50%) credit.Credits earned five or more years prior to admission to an MFA degree are not allowed to satisfy requirements. Use of special student credit requires payment of tuition difference.
  • Prior Coursework Requirement (PhD): With program approval, students are allowed to count up to 18 credits of graduate coursework taken at other institutions or as a UW–Madison Special student (with a maximum of 9 special student credits as part of the 18). Coursework must be numbered 300 or above for residence and degree credit and 700 or above to satisfy the minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement. Credits earned ten or more years prior to admission to a doctoral degree are not allowed to satisfy requirements. Use of Special student credit requires payment of tuition difference.
Assessing Satisfactory Progress

Guidelines for Assessing Satisfactory Academic Progress

Effective for Human Ecology graduate students admitted in Fall 2011 or later.

A student in the Human Ecology graduate program will be judged to be making satisfactory progress when the following conditions are met. The conditions are that she/he has:

  • Registered for a minimum of two credits (or 3 credits if dissertator) per semester, not including summer sessions;
  • Have regular contact with their adviser; at least once per semester;
  • Maintained a 3.0 overall GPA and received a grade of at least B in all Human Ecology coursework;
  • Cleared any incomplete grades by the end of the next semester
  • Formed a graduate committee: (a) by the end of the third semester of full time study if a MS thesis student and (b) by the end of the fourth semester of full time study if a MFA or PhD student.
  • Received committee approval to implement their research proposal: (a) no later than the end of the third semester of full time study for master’s thesis students, (b) no later than the end of the second semester following prelims for PhD students, and (c) no later than the end of the fourth semester for MFA students.
  • Received a favorable satisfactory progress recommendation from their advisor annually.

A student will be judged to be making unsatisfactory progress if they:

  • Have not completed all degree requirements, including thesis or dissertation: (a) within three years of full time study for the MS degree, (b) within 6 years of full time study for the PhD degree, and (c) within 4 years of full time study for the MFA degree. (Note: Grad School guideline is 5 years post-prelim for PhD).

Students who are judged to not be making satisfactory progress may be placed on probation and may lose eligibility for graduate student funding awards such as scholarships and assistantships. Further, students who receive unsatisfactory progress ratings in two consecutive semesters may be dropped from the program.  Students may appeal a decision to be dropped from the program by submitting a written request to their advisor outlining the reasons they believe reconsideration is warranted in relation to established criteria for satisfactory progress.

Students may also request a leave of absence from graduate study due to extenuating circumstances by submitting a letter to their advisor outlining the reasons for the request. Such requests will then be considered by the graduate program council in the student’s department, and if approved, will be forwarded to the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies for formal action (this means forward to the Graduate School with appropriate recommendation).

Grievance Procedure

Grievance Procedure

Any student who feels that he or she has been treated unfairly by a Human Ecology faculty or staff member has the right to complain about the treatment and to receive a prompt hearing of the grievance, following the grievance procedures outlined below. To insure a prompt and fair hearing of any complaint, and to protect both the rights of the student and the person at whom the complaint is addressed, the procedures below are used in the School of Human Ecology.

The person whom the complaint is directed against must be an employee of the School of Human Ecology. Any graduate student or graduate applicant may use these procedures unless the complaint is covered by other campus rules or contracts.

Note: These procedures do not cover appeals of admissions decisions or other decisions made by departmental or Human Ecology committees. For information on appeals of decisions, students should contact the chair of the committee or the chair of the department that made the decision.

Students are encouraged to keep written documentation of their experience of unfair treatment both before and during the grievance proceedings.

Graduate Student Grievance Procedures

STEP 1. The student should first consider talking directly with the person(s) against whom the grievance is directed.
Some issues can be settled at this level, and some cannot be. Although students are encouraged to talk directly with the person(s) involved, we recognize that this may not always be possible. If the complaint cannot be resolved satisfactorily by talking with the person(s) involved, the student may continue to

Step 2.
NOTE: In cases of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or racial discrimination, students may choose to bypass these procedures and report the conduct directly to either of the following offices (see Endnote-1):

  • Associate Dean Natalie Feggestad (Human Ecology sexual harassment officer)
  • The Office for Equity and Diversity (179-A Bascom Hall, 608-263-2378, Wisconsin Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1)

STEP 2. Does the complaint involve someone in a Human Ecology academic department (Civil Society and Community Studies, Consumer Science, Design Studies, and Human Development & Family Studies)?

  • Yes: The student should contact the chair of the department. The student will submit the grievance to the chair in writing. This must be done within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment. The department chair will refer the matter to the department’s Graduate Program Committee or to another appropriate departmental committee (standing or ad hoc) for review. The committee will share the student’s written complaint with the person at whom the complaint is directed, and will obtain a written response from this person. This response will be shared with the student filing the grievance. The committee chair will provide a timely written decision to the student on the action taken by the committee (the departmental decision). If either party is unwilling to accept the departmental decision, the department chair will refer the matter to the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies (see contact information below). The Associate Dean will bring the grievance to the Human Ecology Graduate Program Council for review. (NOTE: if the grievance is against the department chair, the written complaint should be referred to the chair of the department’s graduate program committee; contact information given below.)
  • No: The student should contact the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. The student will submit the grievance to the Associate Dean in writing. This must be done within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment. The Associate Dean will refer the grievance to the Human Ecology Graduate Program Council for review.

STEP 3. Human Ecology Graduate Program Council review.

To insure fairness, the Graduate Program Council chair may appoint a subcommittee to review the complaint (e.g., excluding faculty from the student’s department). The Graduate Program Council may ask for additional information from the parties involved and may hold a hearing at which both parties will be asked to speak separately in closed session. The Graduate Program Council will then make a written recommendation to the Associate Dean who will render a decision and submit it to the Dean of the School for final approval. The Associate Dean will provide the Dean’s final decision in writing to the student and to the person against whom the grievance was filed. Unless a longer time is mutually agreed upon by the individuals involved, this written decision shall be made within 30 working days from the date when the written grievance was filed with the Associate Dean’s Office.

Students not willing to accept the final decision of the Dean may appeal to the Graduate School’s Associate Dean for Admissions and Academic Services.

Questions about these procedures can be directed to Connie Flangan, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies

Endnote-1

State law contains provisions regarding discrimination and harassment. Wisconsin Statutes 36.12 reads, in part:
“No student may be denied admission to, participation in or the benefits of, or be discriminated against in any service, program, course or facility of the system or its institutions or centers because of the student’s race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status or parental status.”

In addition, the UW-System prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression.
Students have the right to file discrimination and harassment complaints with the Office for Equity and Diversity, 179-A Bascom Hall, 263-2378, Wisconsin Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.

Request a Degree Warrant

A Degree Warrant is a program’s recommendation that a student be granted a degree (master’s or doctoral), and is the Graduate School’s notification that a student has met both the Graduate School and the program requirements. This form is to be completed by the student during the term in which s/he wishes to receive her/his degree. Master’s students must be enrolled in at least 2 credits during that term, and doctoral students must be enrolled in exactly 3 credits during that term.

Student must submit their request at least 3 weeks before the final oral defense. Please review the Graduate School Degree Deadlines to ensure you have scheduled your final defense within the appropriate degree window.